Pay them a competitive salary. Protect against mission and role creep. Give something clear to work toward and a strategy to employ to get there.
As an organizational leader, these are the foundations of developing a healthy relationship with your workforce. I’ve found there are other signs of an empathetic organizational culture that you can develop, without excessive budget needs.
These are examples of ways to show your team that you actually care about them as people. It goes a long way to develop the relationships you need to take on a big challenge, particularly without a pile of money.
Continue reading Little ways an organizational leader can show her team she cares about them as people
You can find a lot of solid advice for surviving the open office.
The historical arc of offices is richly told. Despite the criticism they get, I’m fond of them, over many offices or more established cubicles. Someone recently asked me for advice, and I found I had three quick answers that I stand by.
Continue reading 3 simple ideas for thriving in an open office
Big goals can inspire. They can also paralyze.
One of the best outcomes from building the habit of building habits is having a skill to make big change. If you want to stop always being late. If you want to be a better public speaker. If you want to drive your company to new heights.
Once you identify the obstacles, these all are essentially tasks of building habits. But we often stare down the end of an enormous project and are so intimidated we never start. That happens to me a lot. So I remind myself that it all comes down to an incredibly simple act: just get started.
Continue reading Start with the doing. Then get to the done
One unexpected result of becoming CEO of my own company is that I found myself without a traditional budget line I could pull from.
As we grew our company, we created a budget aligned with core functions. I stepped into a role in which I was overseeing them all, but I didn’t set aside budget for me in last year’s budget for myself. That sparked me to wonder how other CEOs approached giving themselves budgetary space to experiment, explore and trial.
Continue reading How to fund small projects as a CEO
Prominent investor Ben Horowitz’s 2014 book ‘The Hard Thing about Hard Things’ is among the seminal business philosophy books from this era of Silicon Valley entrepreneurship.
Horowitz is half of the founding team of Andresson-Horowitz, an iconic Sand Hill Road software-focused venture capital firm. His work and perspective has influenced today’s funding and startup climate, and so I finally dug into the book.
I enjoyed it and took away several insights. As per my habit, find some of my notes below.
Continue reading Notes from ‘The Hard Thing About Hard Things’ by Ben Horowitz
You know startups. You know exits.
Most of the work of business takes place somewhere in between the very start and the very end. Yet a lot of media attention focuses on those two iconic poles. So you might know a lot less about the space between the two poles.
We need more guidance on the work stage. That’s the approach in The Messy Middle, a new book published late last year from Scott Belsky. He founded Behance, which sold in 2012 to Adobe for $150 million, and has been an active investor.
Continue reading Lessons on “The Messy Middle” of business from Scott Belsky
A friend asked me what I thought is the best skill to develop. Build the habit of habits, I told her.
That’s how you get the most out of yourself and your place. It won’t always work but if you develop the rigor and constitution to choose to add a habit and then go and do just that, you’ll be gold. That is how you develop discipline.
My method for doing this is my near obsessive approach to annual resolutions. Each year, I put forward a dozen of them, many straightforward goals but often several tied to habits I want to add to who I am. I tie them to individual months but in truth I plan to do many of them throughout the year and beyond.
Recently I was considering how many personality traits of mine I believe started as resolutions. I think they’re a good example of building the habit of building habits. I wanted to share.
Continue reading Build the habit of making habits: resolutions of mine that stuck
I’ve met a lot of startups trying to get rid of business cards. Because they seem old and create obstacles.
I often gather several business cards from events and days later will go through them, pulling out the people who are the most relevant for something we talked about, someone whom we have a next step. That friction makes sense. It causes an opportunity cost: by making me take several steps, I am more selective.
There’s this concept of an efficiency tax, that sometimes we want friction. It helps the experience. Business cards are one of them.
Continue reading In defense of friction (Or, yes, I think business cards still make sense)